Thoughts on Father’s Day

With my dad and sister 1974.
With my dad and sister 1974.

Well, it’s Father’s Day and, as usual, I’m spending it away from my dad. Life has taken us in different directions, physically. It’s probably been a couple of years since we’ve seen each other, a fact I rather regret. You see, it’s not intentional, it’s just that I have kids and he is getting older so time and ability to travel, on both sides is, limited.  As I write it and re-read it, it sounds kind of lame, really, this reason for not getting together but it’s the truth. We don’t talk often on the phone either. Maybe once a month; twice if we’re lucky.

With all this in mind, you might think we were estranged, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I think of him often and fondly. I think he does the same but also with that parental worry attached, as every good father does. When we talk on the phone it’s always a pleasure for me. Hearing my father’s voice is like snuggling up to a childhood stuffy or blanket. It’s so familiar and so comforting…even if he’s reprimanding me in his very subtle, between-the-lines kind of way that he’s very good at.

Yesterday, I drove up to the cottage by myself. I needed to mow the lawn and vacuum amongst other small projects. It was one of those perfect June days; sunny with fluffy clouds in the sky, a warm breeze, crickets and birds singing in the grasses. As I drove along the winding roads of the countryside, I could feel every tension in my body release and I suddenly wondered why. I wondered why it was here, in the middle of nowhere, and nowhere near home, that I felt most at home. I didn’t grow up on a farm but rather a small-sized city. My dad was a history teacher at one of the local highschools. The countryside was a place through which we traveled to get from town to town.

Or was it? Suddenly an image came to me which brought a smile to myself that I couldn’t turn off if I’d wanted to. It was of my dad in a bright orange Cat Diesel Power cap rested just on top of his mat of wavy hair, which, if you knew my dad, was the antithesis of who he really was. But my dad always enjoys the dramatic approach to things; the eccentricities he can conjure. Anyway, that hat marked the days of the auction sales! My mom and dad were both antique enthusiasts and enjoyed running an antique business on the side. Almost every Saturday of the summer we rolled over the hills and through the valleys of Perth, Waterloo, and Oxford counties in our stationwagon (my sister and I sitting unbelted in the very back) in search of sales or for the purpose of setting up at table at a  flea market or antique show.

Auction sales were always  at farm estates, big beautiful open spaces with old homes and old barns. There was always a fence or a tree to climb, and an adventure to be had. My sister and I roamed like gypsy children while mom and dad focused on the goods for sale. I think it was a time when we were the freest. Mom let down her guard a bit and dad seemed happy to just be away from the classroom as a completely different persona. Certainly, my sister and I weren’t always agreeable about going back then, but I’m happy to look back fondly on it now. It really was some of the best times of my childhood and that explains a lot.

So there you are,  Dad, you can dress up all you want but you see how you are in my memories?! 🙂 As a parent it goes to show you that of all the things you do for your  children, the things you do to make yourself happy, if you can include your children, can created the fondest and longest lasting of memories. I’m glad you didn’t abandon yourself, Dad. I’m glad you side a bit on the eccentric. I’m glad you are you and you’re my dad! I’m glad I have you to think about. Thank you and Happy Father’s Day! I love you.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Thoughts on Father’s Day

  1. Beautiful.

    Having lost my father very suddenly in 1997 I can say that I can’t now … today … remember him without the help of a photograph. Nor can I recall his voice without video assistance. I have no idea what he smelled like. I can’t conjure a hug in my minds eye.
    Yet… oddly … I no longer miss him either.

    I think of him, often. But no longer is there that pang of pain that use to always come along for the ride. He’s gone. So many chances to say “I love you” never taken. I had not seen him in 5 years before he died. I do not want to trivialize things … but DO make the time. TAKE the time. MAKE it. Not just for you but for your own children. See him while you can. Life is short. Time … tomorrow … often does not come.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Sonja, for your words. Losing someone so close is never easy and we never want regrets after they’re gone. I’m glad his absence is no longer painful for you.

      Like

  2. I think this is the first time in my life that I do not spend Father’s day with my Father. He and mom are traveling, and I am happy to say, they are both healthy and strong. Even though today was certainly different, it gave us the opportunity to spend a quiet Father’s Day at home with our girls (more like young women). My husband has enjoyed it tremendously!

    Ours is a very large family and we love our get togethers, but sometimes peace and quiet is a must. Thank God for the Internet though! Dad send is a lovely picture of Mom and him raising a glass of champagne at Corsega!

    Your Dad sounds like a very interesting man. I hope you get a chance to visit soon. Take the kids with you when you do. They do love their Grandkids more than anything : )

    Happy Father’s Day to your husband. He clearly chose a great woman to share his life with.

    H ~

    Like

    1. I’m glad you had a nice Father’s Day at home with your family. It’s cute that your parents sent a photo. That’s sweet. Thanks for commenting. I always enjoy it when you drop by.

      Like

  3. Thanks for that post, I also drove up to the cottage by myself yesterday to mow the grass…and I had those same feelings and thoughts as you, about unwinding as I drove down those country roads, I just love the drive there as much as being there….maybe we were following each other until Buckingham, ha ha….do you take the ferry across from Cumberland or do you take the 50 the whole way? I don’t mind driving on my own because then I stop when I want and snap a picture or two of a barn in a field or whatever…I really enjoyed your writing about your Dad and I even had tears in my eyes by the end. And you are right, 2 years is too long, make a date for the summer holidays….just a suggestion, Lol. Sharon

    ________________________________

    Like

    1. Hi Sharon! I usually take 50 and go up the 309 and skip Buckingham…unless I’m hungry. I find the ferry too expensive although that route would be the preferred one if it were affordable. I enjoy stopping to take photos too…wait for another post later this week. 🙂 I’m glad you commented. Thanks!

      Like

  4. Such a poignant tribute to your father! He is lucky to have you as his daughter.
    There is something about father-daughter relationships, so special. I cannot think of my dad without a smile on my face and a wonderful warm feeling in my heart.
    Having lost my father 2 years ago I cannot urge you strongly enough to make sure you make the time to go see yours and to take the children with you. I was lucky that Dad lived with us half of the year and my children got to bond with him. My mother always said live life without regrets and not visiting with your dad soon would, I imagine be one.

    Like

    1. Yes, Jane, fathers and daughters do have special bonds. It’s nice when you can maintain them and it’s nice that your father got time to spend with his grandchildren. I’m sure he very much enjoyed that. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      Like

  5. My dad died at a very young age, my siblings and I were littlle children when that terrible news came: there was no more dad, no more drawings of our faces in napkins, no more jokes, no more anything at all. He was gone forever. He will be gone forever.
    It’s good to know you feel your dad so close and that you love each other that much, but spend time with him. Make him enjoy your children’s company and make them enjoy their grandfather. Those are memories everybody will cherish. Make the time, I’m sure you won’t regret it.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Gabriela. Yes, I’m aware of the preciousness of life and time. Having lost my mother I can appreciate what you’re saying. I’m always happy you’re here to comment.

      Like

  6. Thank you to you all for commenting so thoughtfully. I thought I would reply to each of you separately and then address the common point you all made. I am, indeed, seeing my father this summer. We have made a point of starting plans for a get together. We both realize the importance of making it happen. I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂

    Like

    1. My father lives half a block away, yet sometimes I don’t get to see him for a whole week. We take too much for granted in life. I sure did, and my children now do. I’m glad you already made plans to get together with your dad this summer. Moments spent with a precious someone are worth way more than years of bland existence.

      Like

      1. You’re fortunate to have him so close, Abufares. And yes, it is easy to take things for granted. Sometimes you fall into a false sense of security with your parents and imagine they’ll be around forever. Of course, we all know that’s not true. Even if getting together is not as often as we would like, it is essential to make the effort and hold onto and cherish the memories we make. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s